Reston Community Center’s Aquatics Center Renovation Earns Regional Public Works Award

BeBe Nguyen Around Town

Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center is named the American Public Works Association/Mid-Atlantic Region Project of the Year for Structures $5 – $25 million

Reston Community Center is proud to announce the recent renovation of the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center has earned top honors for the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) in the 2021 American Public Works Association’s (APWA) Mid-Atlantic Region awards.

The renovated natatorium earned Project of the Year recognition for structures costing $5 – $25 million. RCC’s project reached substantial completion and reopened to the public in January 2020 after a three-year process that included extensive community feedback sessions and a one-year closure for construction.

“The RCC Board of Governors engaged with our community over many months to explore how to meet Reston swimmers’ needs as effectively as possible,” notes RCC Board Chair Beverly Cosham. “The concept design that resulted has proven its validity in the popularity of the new pools as people experience them, even in the context of the pandemic.”

The $5.5 million project was paid for with RCC’s capital reserves. The renovations included demolition of the outdated 40-year-old pool. In its place are two new pools: a 25-yard lap pool with beach entry and water play features, and an adjacent warm-water teaching and exercise pool. Other renovations include a new roof, all new equipment systems for water filtration and air-handling, updated and more effective storm water management, and improvements to the locker rooms. The facility also features a custom mosaic artwork by artist Valerie Theberge, who has several other public art installations in Reston.

DPWES worked together with RCC, which remained open for patrons in other programs throughout the renovation, to assure the success of the effort. Project managers worked closely with RRMM/Lukmire Architects, Branch Builds and their subcontractors to design and construct the new facility. The award was one of eight DPWES projects that earned Mid-Atlantic regional awards, and the project will be submitted for national consideration, said RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon.

“We couldn’t have hoped for a more dedicated team from DPWES to oversee this effort and bring it to a successful conclusion,” said Gordon. “They led the project through many challenges and assured it met the highest standards for safety and quality at each step. We are extremely pleased they have been recognized by APWA for the result.”

Branch Builds was selected by DPWES after a pre-bid qualifying process and review of construction bids from those firms that elected to submit them. The Virginia-based contractor has won awards for its design-build and renovation of schools, libraries (including the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library) and other public facilities. Fairfax County DPWES’ Building Design and Construction Division provided overall project direction and oversight on behalf of RCC.

Criteria established for Project of the Year consideration included good construction management, safety performance and overall safety program, community relations, environmental protection, unusual accomplishments under adverse conditions, exceptional efforts and innovations, and sustainability.

The renovation result of two pools rather than one has allowed RCC to serve more patrons and aquatics programs. The lap swim registrations have been redesigned to expand access with new content and event options now possible with the attractive pools and features. To see winter and spring aquatics programs, please visit RCC’s website.


Photo credit: Charlotte Geary

About Reston Community Center

Each year RCC offers positive, self-development experiences that enhance the quality of life for all people living and working in Reston. RCC provides a wide range of programs in arts, aquatics, enrichment and lifelong learning. We also create and sustain community traditions through special events, outreach activities and facility rentals. To find the programs or events that are right for you, visit www.restoncommunitycenter.com or call 703-476-4500.

Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request. For further information, contact Reston Community Center at 703-476-4500, TTY 711, or visit the website at www.restoncommunitycenter.com. Reston Community Center is located at 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston, VA 20191. Reston Community Center is completely accessible to persons with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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